Support Ukrainian-Owned Businesses by Dining at These NYC Restaurants
Help support the local community right here in the Big Apple.
The eyes and ears of the world are on Ukraine right now, but you can also support the Ukrainian American community locally in NYC, which is home to a population of about 80,000. And luckily, that means there is some excellent Ukrainian food scattered throughout the city.
NYC saw an influx of Ukrainian immigration during the late 1800s which continued throughout the early 20th century. Manhattan’s East Village is home to Little Ukraine, which at its peak after WWII was home to 60,000 Ukrainian Americans, but in more recent years, the population has decreased significantly, with only a few Ukrainian-owned businesses left in the area. Most of the others are located in various parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
Below, show your support for Ukrainian-owned businesses by grabbing a meal at one of these establishments. Also lend aid to the Ukrainian Red Cross via the website, as they support the people affected by the ongoing conflict.
In the heart of East Village lies a Ukrainian coffee shop and eatery that’s one of the neighborhood’s most iconic culinary institutions. Veselka, whose name translates to “rainbow”, has served the NYC community for more than 60 years. The popular restaurant is best known for pierogies, borscht, and goulash, and in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, is a go-to brunch destination as well.
Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
After a year-long pandemic-induced closure in 2021, Ukrainian Restaurant East Village made its long-awaited reopening, to the resounding joy of New Yorkers. The 51-year-old mainstay features a menu of traditional and hearty homestyle meals and a laid back atmosphere. Crowd favorite specialties include Kotleti (ground schnitzel, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes); Bigos (a stew of sauerkraut, kielbasa, and pork); and Holubtsi (stuffed cabbage with a choice of beef, pork, or mushroom).
Located in a snug corner on the ground floor of a 7th Street chiropractor’s office is Streecha. A fundraising effort for the nearby St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, the no-frills spot is run by community and parish-member volunteers. Spot the blue Cyrillic sign and head downstairs where you’ll be greeted by wafting smells of Ukrainian comfort classics like potato-stuffed varenyky; variety of goulashes; grilled sausages; and rotating dessert specials. Join in on a varenyky making class and tap a follow on their newly-founded TikTok account.
Located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn is banquet hall and eatery Rondel. The spot is known for a light and festive ambiance, live performances, and an assortment of Ukrainian fare. On weekend nights and by special request, expect bands, singers, and even saxophonists to add musical accompaniment to your choice of borscht and salo.
An ideal spot for family and friend gatherings is restaurant and event space Golden Leo. Explore an extensive menu of traditional cuisine like Okroshka, Olivye, Chicken Kiev, and an assortment of seafood dishes. Grab a table on the open floor plan, while musicians fill the air with Ukrainian tunes.
Helmed by owner Stepan Rogulski, Varenyk House features passed-down family recipes learned from Western Ukraine. Opened about a year ago, the eatery has become a neighborhood go-to for a wide variety of sweet and savory varenyk; potato pancakes; kielbasa; and blintzes. The front store room is also stocked to the brim with a colorful assortment of in-house made ready-to-go packaged goods from the restaurant’s menu.
Co-owned by Sveta and son Alan Savchitz, Sveta is a Ukrainian and Russian-influenced, family-run restaurant in the heart of the West Village. Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Savchitz’s menu melds passed-down recipes and classic fare from her childhood with NYC-inspired seafood-centric dishes. Popular menu items include Oliver (potatoes, carrots, green peas, eggs, chicken); Chicken Kiev (breaded chicken breast, dill butter, mashed potatoes); and Pan-Seared Scallops (spaghetti squash, kale, chorizo). On the lengthy beverage menu, make sure to ask about the daily cocktail special, try out a Sveta’s Frozen Crusher with mixed berry compote, or explore the globally sourced wine list.